Belarus has drafted a bill regulating blockchain

The National State TV and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus announced that the President issued a decree “On the development of digital economy”. This, indeed, appeared to be a revolution in the world IT-ecosystem and is a really outstanding step for the Belarus economy.

«First of all the document aims to create such conditions that would be attractive to world IT-companies. It will be interesting for them to come to Belarus, open their representative offices, development centers and create marketable products», − reports The Press Service of the President.

«The second goal of that decree is to make investments in our future. These are namely IT-specialists and IT-education. The third one is the implementation of brand new financial instruments and technologies», − said Alexander Lukashenko.

Some legal provisions of the English law, introduced in the decree, make it possible for national companies to enter into contracts and establish relationships with foreign partners having a similar legal framework.

It is also expected that many new professions and additional employment in various sectors of the economy will appear. It is now absolutely legal to use tokens in civil circulation and mine cryptocurrency. Notably, tokens and any incomes related to different operations with them are not subject to declaration and are not taxed until January 1st, 2023.

Elon Musk: Bitcoin Is Good, But Not For Tesla

Elon Musk has recently made a statement showing his attitude towards cryptocurrency and financial world as a whole. He supports Bitcoin, yet, it will not bring good for Tesla.

Elon Musk is a well-known technology entrepreneur and engineer with a fortune of $22.8 billion, he projects, like SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal, cover different areas of live, meanwhile they are competing to other companies at a high level. Musk is also a socially active person, he likes to post tweets sharing his thoughts about what is happening in the world. Though, sometimes it may bring consequences, like it was in July last year, when the SEC sent a request to Tesla regarding tweets of Elon Musk.

Furthermore, he freely expresses his attitude towards cryptocurrency. Once he even claimed how many Bitcoins he actually possessed. The Twitter community blowed up every time when Musk speaks about cryptocurrency. For instance, in October 2018, Elon posted a tweet about his love for anime and offered a subscriber to buy Bitcoins.

Twitter even blocked his account for a certain period of time to make sure he was the author. So, this time the world has gone mad, when Musk expressed his feelings about financial system and Bitcoin, in particular,  in the podcast “On the Road to Full Autonomy With Elon Musk.”

“Paper money is going away. Crypto is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper, that’s for sure,” he said. “Bitcoin’s structure is brilliant but I don’t think it would be a good use of Tesla’s resources to get involved in crypto.”

Furthermore, Musk added that Bitcoin has its pros and cons, yet, what he is really concerned about is crypto mining, to create one Bitcoin, people use high-powered computers to solve a complex math problem.

“We’re really just trying to accelerate the advance of sustainable energy, and I think one of the down sides of crypto is that computationally it’s quite energy intensive. There had to be some kind of constraints on the creation of crypto. But it’s very energy intensive to create slightly incremental Bitcoin, at this point.”

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Is The World Not Ready for the Power of Blockchain Yet?

The blockchain technology undoubtedly has a huge potential for companies specializing in various fields and areas. On a daily basis, we witness enterprises all over the world incorporate blockchain for security, cross-border payments, storing data and many other purposes.

Blockchain is used in the healthcare sector, studied in universities and even used to combat crimes against humanity, like child labor and drug trafficking. However, if we take a closer look at the statistics, we will be surprised to find out that most businesses are not yet at the stage of development to start using blockchain.

According to the research made by the software company Globant, among the participants of the survey, less than a half (46%) are actually ready to apply the blockchain technology right away.

Our report reveals organizations are eager to invest in blockchain solutions to improve their internal operations. Enthusiasm toward blockchain has yet to translate into readiness, however,” is mentioned in the report.

As for the statistical results of the survey, here it is worth pointing out the following bullet points:

  • 64% of the respondents are willing to incorporate blockchain and invest into blockchain solutions, but have not undertaken anything specific yet;
  • 61% are already actively researching the technology and the ways of applying it for their businesses;
  • Only 28% have selected their first or subsequent blockchain vendor.

Out of the respondents whose businesses have already started researching blockchain:

  • 42% are in the discovery phase;
  • 30% are still unsure of which blockchain provider to choose;
  • 19% have chosen their first vendor;
  • 9% have already moved on to another provider.

Thus, we can clearly see that although the interest in blockchain is obviously present and growing with every single day, however, it is still quite far from being fully incorporated by the businesses worldwide.

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Chinese Fudan University Opens Up a Research Center Devoted to Blockchain

One of the oldest and most prestigious educational establishments in China, Fudan University, located in Shanghai, is moving with the times. Just like their colleagues from universities in Tokyo, Stanford and other cities around the world, Fudan scientists decided to try out the potential of the blockchain technology.

The university partnered up with a couple major companies in Shanghai, one of them being Shanghai Zhongren Information Technology Co., Ltd, and launched Shanghai Blockchain Engineering Technology Research Center.

The new blockchain hub will function not only to benefit Fudan University, but also for the sake of the whole city.

Professor Lu Haibin, the newly appointed Director of the Blockchain Research Center of Fudan University, introduced it during the official opening:

The Blockchain Research Center will carry out basic research, demonstration of possible application and training talented people with the help of the blockchain technology, strengthen the combination of production, study and research, and serve Shanghai’s economic development.

Frankly speaking, this is not the first time that a Chinese higher educational establishment opened up a similar center. The fintech research department of the Tsinghua University in Beijing cooperated with the blockchain payment solution producer Ripple and established a special scholarship for gifted students in this area called the Blockchain Technology Research Scholarship Program.

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The Recent Filing of Apple to SEC Suggests Its Interest in the Blockchain Technology

It has been detected that one of the latest listing of Apple submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission called “Conflict Minerals Report” mentioned the blockchain technology as one of the methods to deal with the issue stated there.

The issue itself regarded the mining, production and shipment of minerals used to produce smartphones and other electronic devices.

We have covered the topic earlier and informed you about the company Ford that cooperated with IBM and other giants in order to combat child labor in Africa. Their primary goal was to focus on cobalt mines in Congo, where minors were and maybe still are working illegally.

Meanwhile, Apple has some big plans on that cobalt, since this mineral is crucial for the company to manufacture their devices. However, using cobalt from the infamous mines in Congo would mean direct support of the human rights abuse.

Many experts have repeatedly pointed out that the supply chains of Apple were involved in multiple scandals involving the violation of human basic rights. Thus, the company had to make sure it got rid of the “dirty” reputation.

Apple is deeply committed to upholding human rights across its global network of suppliers that support the manufacturing of its mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and related accessories. Apple works to safeguard the well-being of people involved in its supply chain and to protect the places where materials are sourced,” the filing reads.

Conflict Minerals Report was mainly about the work ethics of Apple and the possible ways to ensure the legitimacy of supply chains, using the blockchain technology, as well as educating other businesses how to use blockchain for security purposes.

Thus, we might draw a conclusion that Apple is getting closer to using the blockchain technology, even though it is indirect so far. Bigger step towards using the potential of blockchain might follow soon.

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Cryptocurrency Rate Today, February 18: Bitcoin Overcame $3700, and Ethereum Is At $140

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Cardano, Stellar, IOTA, Dash, Monero: Cryptocurrency Rate

According to the Coingecko online platform, Bitcoin (BTC) added 2.8% in the past 24 hours. The price at the time of writing is $3747 per coin.

Cryptocurrencies moved to the green zone:

Bitcoin Cash added 6.49% over the past 24 hours and costs $130 per coin;

Ripple increased by 3.99% and costs $0.31;

EOS raised by 5.99% and its price is $3.01;

Litecoin became more expensive by 1.38% and its value is $44;

Cardano added 3.66% and its cost is $0.042;

Stellar lost 1.68% and costs $0.079;

IOTA added 1.84% and its value is $0.28;

Dash raised by 2.79% and its price is $81;

Monero became more expensive at 5.33% and costs $49.

Over the past 24 hours, Ethereum has added a record-high 12%. The coin rate is $140 per coin.

The total market capitalization is $126 billion. Bitcoin accounts for 52.1% of the total. In monetary terms, it is $65 billion.

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A Major Japanese Bank Is Developing a Blockchain-Based Payment Network Due in 2020

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) is on the most prominent financial institutions in Japan, moreover, it is the world’s fifth largest bank in the world. Located in Tokyo, MUFG has branches in 50 countries all over the globe and over 150 thousand employees.

The financial group provides services in the various fields like leasing, asset management, commercial banking, credit cards, securities and others. It also constantly collaborates with the largest banking establishments in America, Europe and Asia.

MUFG and blockchain

Following the example of its competitors and partners, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group decided to involve innovative technologies in order to upgrade and advance its payment systems.

According to the official press release of the bank, it is partnering up with the Massachusetts-based company Akamai Technologies, which is a leading provider of content delivery and site accelerating services.

MUFG and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (“Akamai”) announced today that they have agreed to strengthen their strategic alliance towards the full-scale launch of a new payment network business and establishment of a joint venture, Global Open Network, Inc.,” is mentioned in the press release.

The main purpose of the collaboration, the development of a blockchain network for payments, is planned to be launched in 2020.

As stated by the bank representatives, they want to experiment with “diverse payment schemes” which will allow to expand their range of services.

We remind you that another global financial establishment, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, is also working on implementing cutting-edge technologies and launched a financial management app.

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